University of Calgary considers tuition hike for graduate school students

Tuition for graduate students at the University of Calgary could soon be going up.

Current graduate students may see 5% increase while new students may face even bigger hikes

University of Calgary grad students were told of possible tuition increases at a meeting Tuesday night. Undergraduates will learn if their tuition fees would also be going up on Friday. (CBC)

Tuition for graduate students at the University of Calgary could be going up.

University officials gave the news to masters and doctoral level students at a town hall meeting on Tuesday night, a day after the post-secondary institution announced it would be cutting 250 jobs in response to recent provincial funding cuts.

If the proposed change is approved by the university's board of governors in January, tuition would rise by:

  • Five per cent for current graduate students, both domestic and international.
  • Seven per cent for new domestic graduate students.
  • Ten per cent for international graduate students.

Muhammad Mansouri, president of the Graduate Students' Association, says many students already live below the poverty line.

"They are already in a bad situation," he said.

"This even makes the situation worse and, to be honest with you, some of them have to leave the university. They don't have any other option."

Hadi Zadeh-Haghighi, an international PhD student, says he feels the university is unwilling to listen and the increases would violate the contract he signed to study at the U of C.

"They just put me in a corner after signing everything, after declining other options," he said. "They just tell me this is what it is, so just take it."

On Friday, undergraduate students will learn whether their tuition could also be going up.

150 people will be laid off, another 100 jobs cut

The university's board of governors will vote in January on the proposed tuition increases.

The move is just the latest as academic institutions struggle to adapt to mid-school-year funding cuts made by the United Conservative Party in their October budget.

On Monday, the university said it would have to cut 250 jobs — 100 jobs will be cut through closing vacancies, retirements and resignations — meaning there will be 150 layoffs.

The United Conservative government's 2019 budget provided $5.1 billion for advanced education operations, a five-per-cent cut over the previous year. 

The university said no academic programs will be impacted this year, but strategic initiatives and projects have been slowed, deferred or cancelled, and other items like non-essential travel have been cut.


  • An earlier version of this story said the tuition hikes had already been decided upon. In fact, they are in the proposed stage and still need to be voted on by the school's board of governors in January.
    Nov 21, 2019 12:22 PM MT


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Account Holder

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?